Review of Edinburgh Food Studio, Edinburgh
A few months ago I read about a new Kickstarter project opening up in Edinburgh called Edinburgh Food Studio and had to back them. There were quite a few different options, I went for the £75 backing which meant once they were open I had a taster menu for 2 people.
The basis of their business is to offer a new and exciting venue that is all about seasonal sustainable food, exciting new flavours, bringing back original cultural concepts and amazing workshops to teach people about food – anything from all about tea to butter making or foraging, you can find all their up coming events on the website.
Their strap line was ‘A space where arts, sciences and quality food collide to create cutting edge and delicious experiences’. They have also pledged that 50% of their profits will go back into researching and exploring Scotlands food. Who wouldn’t want to back that!?
The faces behind the venture are Ben Reade & Sashana Souza Zanella. Who together, according to the Kickstarter Campaign, have 25 years of experience together in some of the best kitchens and food schools in the world.
We booked a table for the 5th December for my birthday meal to use the kickstarter pledge, which turned out to be the one of the worst days of the year with widespread chaos on the roads and trains up and down the country. If we had been booked for anywhere else I am not sure we would have left the house at all but we wrapped up warm and ventured into Edinburgh for the meal.
Their property is on Dalkeith Road and has 2 long central tables which you will share with other dinners to give a relaxed atmosphere. They work together from a small kitchen which is open so you can see what is going on and a central island in the dining area for some of the plating up infront of you.
The menu is fixed for each evening but they will work around any dietary requirements which will be confirmed when booking. They confirmed as we arrived if there was anything that we did not eat and gave us an option to find out the menu for the evening or keep it as a surprise – we opted for surprise.
They have a small wine list which Sashana took time to go through with all the guests and recommended what would go with the menu for the evening. I was unfortunately designated driver for the evening so left Dave to choose a bottle. He opted for a tempranillo which was lovely (I only a small sip). They also had orange wines which sounded quite intriguing and I would vote to try next time we visit (ooops, spoiler alert that I would go back).
Whilst we were waiting for the first course they served up some delicious really thinly sliced wholegrain sourdough bread with homemade yogurt and butter with a little twist – so difficult not to stuff our faces full of it before the main events.
The first course of the evening for us was a 2 day fermented sauerkraut so it had a lightly pickled flavour but not over powering, with quince and small piece of marinaded pork belly. The flavours were lovely and the light acidity of the sauerkraut perfectly cut through the richness of the pork belly.
Next up was a monkfish liver terrine with a raspberry pickled beetroot and caper salsa and a little mini wholegrain brioche. The terrine was so intense with flavour, kind of reminded me of crab a little bit and was so rich. I would say the balance of the dish was spot on with flavour but could have done with slightly more pickle and a slightly larger brioche (or a slightly smaller piece of terrine but that would be no fun).
Then came ‘All About the Carrot’. This was my favourite course of the evening and consisted of a 8 hour confit heritage carrot in pork fat, a carrot pickle, a dehydrated carrot crisp and 2 different colours of carrot syrup. The flavours were just amazing and so cleverly done. Who knew the humble carrot could be so exciting.
The main for the evening was a lamb & mutton dish with the most intense mint sauce ever, spaghetti squash and a puree. This was Daves favourite of the evening.
We were then served a small pallet cleanser style pre-pudding course with dehydrated orange and sesame. I found it a little sweet but still finished off the portion.
The pudding for the evening was a Christmas ice cream with spices, little meringues, cooked pears and a sauce which had a taste of bananas (I’m not sure what it was). Again, on a personal preference I found this a little sweet.
As an after dinner sweet there was a little homemade macaroon which had been made in the traditional way. Anyone know what the traditional way of making a macaroon is in Scotland? With mashed potato! You would never be able to guess.
Each of the courses above were brought out to the table by either Sashana or Ben and they explained to all of the guests what it was and a little bit about the ingredients. One thing that really struck us was how calm they both were working in the kitchen and you can tell that they really love what they are doing and work as a great duo.
Over all I really loved the whole experience and the food was awesome and so great to be able to try something totally new and innovative. I really home Edinburgh Food Studio takes off like they deserve too and recommend everyone books to go and try and them and help them grow.
Atmosphere 7/10 (the evening we were there was not a full house which I think would make it better)